Steady rains all week led up to a hot and steamy race night at St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday. The moisture laden track hosted equally hot, fast and furious races that saw yet another new face in Victory Lane at the end of the night.
The WISSOTA Modifieds returned to the weekly race card at SCVR this season, and through four events, four different winners have parked their rides on The Hill, SCVR’s victory lane. After winning the opening Modified heat race, Buzzy Adams sat on the front row of the night’s finale alongside of third heat race winner Steve Lavasseur. Adams grabbed the point early while Lavasseur, last week’s winner Scott Splittstoesser, Charlie Hillukka, Brandon Jensen, and Justin Oestreich all searched for an ideal line behind him. Adams was looking strong out front, but nothing was settled behind him – with Splittstoesser, Lavasseur, and Oestreich all taking their turns in second. As the laps clicked off, it became apparent it was Adams’ night as he was never seriously challenge, becoming the fourth different Modified racer to claim a win at The Valley this season. The frantic race behind Adams saw Oestreich, Splittstoesser, Jensen and Lavasseur round out the top five.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds are starting to become Jason VandeKamp’s personal showcase, who claimed his third consecutive feature win – but it was no easy task. Josh Bazey controlled things in the early going, out racing Mitch Weiss to the front and holding the position for most of the race. VandeKamp, meanwhile, started deep in the field and took until the race’s midpoint to find the Weiss/Bazey battle for the lead. A bobble of Weiss’s #23 hotrod opened the door for Bazey and VandeKamp to scream by and make it a two car battle for the win. Bazey had one of the few cars that successfully worked the low groove, holding the top spot through lap fifteen. That’s when the momentum of VandeKamp’s outside line bore fruit as he finally nudged out front with just four laps remaining. Both Bazey and Weiss were hanging tough as VandeKamp wasn’t ever able to really shake his #16 mount free of his pursuers; but he was able to expertly navigate his way to a third consecutive win and fourth overall on the season at The Valley. Bazey, Weiss, Tony Schill and Joe Chaplin Jr. completed the top five.
In their final tune-up race before the big “Traditional 40” race on June 27, the UMSS Traditional Sprints were brought to green by Mike Mueller and Mike Walters. As is typical for the Traditionals, the field quickly spread out into multiple grooves. Mueller showed the way for the first third of the race, initially with Walters in pursuit, then with first heat race winner Cam Schafer taking up the charge on lap five. After following Mueller for a few laps, Schafer took over the lead and Rob Caho powered by Mueller for second at the crossed flags. With the two points leaders up front it was a high-speed chase to the checkers that ended with Schafer parking in the Anderson’s Maple Syrup victory lane for the second week in a row over Caho, Chase Viebrock, Jake Kouba and Mueller.
In the UMSS Micro Sprints, reigning champion and last week’s winner, Ty Sampair was enjoying a vacation, yielding his #64 ride to the veteran Rick Kobs. Kobs has enjoyed a long history at The Valley, which was originally owned by his late father, Al. Over the years, Rick has driven – with abundant success – literally dozens of different cars at the raceway, in nearly every class that has ever competed there. On Friday, Kobs proved his versatility yet again. Starting near the back in his borrowed ride, Kobs followed Jack Berger to the stripe for lap one, but assumed control of the race on the next circuit of SCVR’s quarter-mile clay oval. Berger pursued throughout, but could never reclaim the top spot from the wily vet, who claimed a feature win in yet another different class, adding an Anderson’s Maple Syrup UMSS Micro Sprint trophy to his resume. Behind Berger, Val Urman, Bryan Patrick and Dave Madsen filled out the top five.
The Pure Stocks were paced to green by Tim Baxter and opening week winner, Darren Kohler with Baxter leading early. By lap two, heat race winner Hunter VanGilder was up from his fourth starting position to Baxter’s rear bumper. Baxter’s advantage over VanGilder yo-yoed from a few car lengths to just a few feet throughout the race, but VanGilder could never find the speed he needed to overcome Baxter, who raced to his first feature win of the season over VanGilder, Kohler, Tucker Quinn and Jack Barta.
In Future Four action, Dan Rick charged past heat race winner Nick Axelsen to lead the opening laps before Damon Roberts blasted by both the front-runners to take over on lap three. Roberts’ father and teammate, Duane, finally worked by Rick for second with a handful of laps remaining, leaving Rick to battle with the hard-charging Bob Carver Jr. “Team Rollover” went on to finish first and second, with the youngster Damon claiming his third win of the summer ahead of Duane Roberts, Carver, Adam Nelson and Dan Rick.
The Traditional 40 highlights the June 27 event this Friday at St. Croix Valley Raceway, with the sprinters competing for an exhausting forty laps on the quarter-mile bullring. 2013 champion Jeff Pellersels will be on hand to defend his title against what is expected to be the largest field ever in the four year history of the UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series. All weekly classes will also see action, including WISSOTA Modifieds and Midwest Modifieds, UMSS Micro Sprints, as well as SCVR Pure Stocks and Future Fours/Minivans. More information may be found on the track’s website, www.SCVRaceway.com, as well as their Facebook page.
Heat 1- Kevin Adams, Scott Splittstoesser, Charlie Hillukka, Kyle Steffen, Keith Tourville, Shawn Kelly
Heat 2-Mike Anderson, Matt Leer, Brandon Jensen. Jason Gross, Rick Kobs
Heat 3- Steve Lavasseur, Cory Williams, Justin Oestreich, Jake Miller, Adam Ayotte
Feature- Kevin Adams, Justin Oestreich, Scott Splittstoesser, Brandon Jensen, Steve Lavasseur, Matt Leer, Charlie Hillukka, Mike Anderson, Jason Gross, Cory Williams, Jake Miller, Keith Tourville, Shawn Kelly, Rick Kobs, Kyle Steffen, Adam Ayotte
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Heat 1- Tony Schill, Josh Bazey, Mitch Weiss, Jason Schill, John Remington, Jacob Toepper, Samantha Yarusso
Heat 2- Ashley Mehrwerth, Joe Chaplin Jr., Kevin Marlett, Brandon Mehrwerth, Tyler English, Tim Baxter, Greg Arnt
Heat 3- Jason VandeKamp, Cory Bruggeman, Doug Toepper, Kyle Hallin, Elizabeth Toepper, Eric Gadach
Feature- Jason VandeKamp, Josh Bazey, Mitch Weiss, Tony Schill, Joe Chaplin Jr., Doug Toepper, John Remington, Ashley Mehrwerth, Kevin Marlett, Brandon Mehrwerth, Jacob Toepper, Elizabeth Toepper, Tyler English, Eric Gadach, Greg Arnt, Tim Baxter, Cory Bruggeman, Samantha Yarusso, Jason Schill, Tony DuBois, Kyle Hallin
UMSS Traditional Sprints
Heat 1- Cam Shafer, Chase Viebrock, Kevin Bradwell, Jake Kouba, Mike Haseltine, Eric Becker, Alex Peper
Heat 2- Rob Caho Jr., Mike Walters, Mike Mueller, Jon Lewerer, Joseph Kouba, D Taubert
Feature- Cam Shafer, Rob Caho Jr., Chase Viebrock, Jake Kouba, Mike Mueller, Kevin Bradwell, Mike Walters, Mike Haseltine, Eric Becker. Jon Lewerer, Joseph Kouba, Alex Peper, D Taubert
UMSS Micro Sprints
Heat- Rick Kobs, Jack Berger, Shawn Kelly, Val Urman, Bryan Patrick, Dave Madsen, Pat Heilman(DNS
Feature- Rick Kobs, Jack Berger, Shawn Kelly, Val Urman, Bryan Patrick, Dave Madsen, Pat Heilman
Heat – Nick Axelsen, Damon Roberts, Duane Roberts, Dan Rick, Bob Carver Jr., Mitch Niebur, Kaleb Rharr, Adam Nelson, Nicki DuBois
Feature – Damon Roberts, Duane Roberts, Bob Carver Jr., Adam Nelson, Dan Rick, Kaleb Rharr, Nicki DuBois, Nick Axelsen, Mitch Niebur
Heat – Hunter VanGilder, Ben Kaphing, Tim Baxter, Tucker Quinn, Jack Barta, Casey Ogilvie, Darren Kohler
Feature – Tim Baxter, Hunter VanGilder, Tucker Quinn, Darren Kohler, Jack Barta, Casey Ogilvie, Ben Kaphing